Friday, 6 September 2013

The Hedgehog

Back when I was an undergrad, I joined the University Diplomacy Society, originally drawn by the club's motto: Make New Friends, then Stab them in the Back!  I've since fallen out of playing the game, as the negotiating mechanic doesn't really appeal to me and I can get better tactical games elsewhere.  I still remember a lot of stuff from then, including several of the openings.  One famous opening for Austria-Hungary is the Hedgehog, invented by one of the early writers, Richard Sharp.  This features Austria moving its Fleet (that starts in Trieste) to Italian Venice, as a defensive measure against a possible Italian attack.  The move usually fails, which in Diplomacy is called bouncing.

The reason I bring all this up is that it was very much in my mind last Sunday, when I travelled from Trieste to Venice for a day trip.  Obviously, I could hardly pass up visiting Venice, having never gone before.  But the fact that I wouldn't even stay for one night—that I would bounce—made me smile in memory.

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